God's will and our desires - Part 2

SERMON TOPIC: God's will and our desires - Part 2

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 19 February 2017


Sermon synopsis: Before revealing His plans to each person, God asks that certain 'prerequisites' be met.
- A total surrender is needed to know God’s perfect will.
- You have to separate yourself from the world.
- You have to want to do God’s will before knowing it.
- You have to know God to know His will.
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God’s will and the desires of my heart (Part 2).

The desires of our heart.

1. What do you want to see most in your life this year?

2. What do you want to see most in the Brakpan Assembly this year?

3. What do you want to see most in your work environment this year?

4. What do you want to see most in South Africa this year?

How do you view yourself ? Does God have a plan for you ?

How do you view your fellow believers ? Do you have a responsibility towards them ?

How do you view God ?

Does what He wants matter to you ?

God has a personal blueprint for the life of His children.

Ephesians 2:10.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them“

John 15:14-17.

You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

This is my command: Love each other.

How important is God’s will?

Matthew 7:21

Not everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

God’s will is not always appealing to the flesh.

God’s will for Jesus.

Matthew 26:38-39.

Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.

Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

God’s will for Paul.

Acts 9:15-16.

But the Lord said to Ananias, Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.

God’s general will and His specific will.

Before revealing His plans to each person, God asks that certain "prerequisites" be met.

A total surrender is needed to know God’s perfect will.

You have to separate yourself from the world.

You have to want to do God’s will before knowing it.

You have to know God to know His will.

Repentance affects the desires of my heart.

In fact if you don’t have a change in appetite when you are converted, then you need to question your conversion.

2 Corinthians 7:8-11.

Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it, I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while—yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance.

For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.

God’s will must affect the desires of my heart.

Philippians 2:12-13.

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.

Hebrews 11:6-7. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family.

Once we have allowed the Holy Spirit to change our appetites then God can satisfy us.

Psalms 37:3-4.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:

God’s will and the desires of my heart.

Ask yourself…

Am I totally available to God?

Are all my “rights” surrendered to His will?

Am I separate, different from the world and allowing God to transform my mind and life?

Do I have an honest desire to know God's will?

Am I living up to what I already know?

Am I willing to wait for God's will to be revealed?

God’s uses certain things to reveal His will.

God’s will and circumstances.

1. God uses circumstances to teach us that He is our source, we have security in Him?

Deuteronomy 8:3.

So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

2 Corinthians 4:7-9.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

God’s will and the desires of my heart.

Sometimes God has to do something to us in order to do something for us!

Three Ways Circumstances Come About:

From my own doing

From Satan

From God (He directly allows them)

Three Ways You Can Deal With Circumstances

You can try to remove the circumstances

You can try to remove yourself from the circumstances

You can allow God to work out the circumstances

God’s will and circumstances.

2. God uses circumstances so that we put our trust in Him and not fall prey to pride.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

God’s will and circumstances.

3. God uses circumstances in order to exercise our faith.

1 Peter 4:12.

Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.

1 Peter 4:19.

So if you are suffering according to God’s will, keep on doing what is right, and trust yourself to the God who made you, for he will never fail you.

God’s will and circumstances.

3. God uses circumstances in order to exercise our faith.

1 Peter 1:7.

These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold, and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honour on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

God’s will and circumstances.

For two years, scientists sequestered themselves in an artificial environment called Biosphere 2. Inside their self-sustaining community, the Biospherians created a number of mini-environments, including a desert, rain forest, even an ocean. Nearly every weather condition could be simulated except one, wind. Over time, the effects of their windless environment became apparent. A number of acacia trees bent over and even snapped. Without the stress of wind to strengthen the wood, the trunks grew weak and could not hold up their own weight.

Weathering storms is what builds our strength.

God determines the limits to which evil and its effects may go.

God’s will and circumstances.

Psalms 124:2-3 2.

If it had not been the LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us, Then they would have swallowed us alive, when their wrath was kindled against us.

1 Corinthians 10:13.

But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Job 2:6.

The LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.

From scripture it is clear that even evil acts of Satan are even under the complete control of God. They can occur only by permission, and only as far as God permits them to go. Though they are evil in themselves, He overrules them for good

God’s will and circumstances.

Circumstances guided Joseph to Egypt.

Genesis 37:3-7 & 28.

Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”............

So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt.

There he was a slave in Potiphar’s house, then he went to prison and only years later was he made 2nd in charge of all of Egypt.

God’s will and circumstances.

Circumstances guided Joseph to Egypt.

Genesis 50:18-21.

His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. We are your slaves, they said. But Joseph said to them, Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

God’s will and circumstances.

Illness guided Paul to Galatia.

Galatians 4:13-14.

As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.

Paul wanted to go and preach in Asia.

Acts 16:6-7.

Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

God’s will and circumstances and visions.

Paul wanted to go and preach in Asia.

Acts 16:6-10.

Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.

So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.

During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

Great missionaries have been guided by circumstances.

David Livingstone

He set out for China, but the Opium War closed the door to that country and he went to Africa, and what proved to be his destiny.

After reading Gutzlaff's "Appeal" in behalf of China, Livingstone resolved to give his life to work in that country. He gave as his reason "the claims of so many millions of his fellow-creatures, and the complaint of the want of qualified men to undertake the task" (David Livingstone, Missionary Annals Series, p. 8).

Henceforth his "efforts were continually directed toward that object without any fluctuation." But the Opium War effectually closed the door of China, and the appeal of Moffat for the thousand African villages constrained Livingstone to devote himself to that continent. The purpose once formed, he never swerved from it. Anxious to begin at once the work which be saw in dim outline before him, he remained in England, and further prepared himself with scrupulous care. He was not to be hurried, yet when he was finally ready nothing could keep him back.

Great missionaries have been guided by circumstances.

Adoniram Judson

He sailed for India, but, unable to land when he arrived, got off at the next port of call, Burma, where he served the Lord for years and won many souls.

Great missionaries have been guided by circumstances.

Adoniram Judson, Jr. (August 9, 1788 – April 12, 1850) was an American Congregationalist and later Baptist missionary, who served in Burma for almost forty years. At the age of 25, Adoniram Judson became the first Caucasian Protestant

missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma. His mission and work with Luther Rice led to the formation of the first Baptist association in America to support missionaries.

At times mistakenly referred to as the first missionary to Burma, he was in fact preceded by James Chater and Richard Mardon (who both arrived in 1807) as well as by Felix Carey. However, since those predecessors did not remain long, and Judson also translated the Bible into Burmese, as well as established a number of Baptist churches in Burma, Judson is remembered as the first significant missionary in Burma, as well as one of the very first missionaries from America to travel overseas

God’s will and circumstances.

Judson was a very precocious boy. When only three years of age he learned to read under the tutelage of his mother while his father was absent on a journey. How great was the father's astonishment and delight upon his return, to hear his young son read to him a chapter from the Bible. He grew up in a devout Christian home. His father, a Congregational minister, cherished the fond hope that his son would follow in his footsteps. But Adoniram was enamoured of his brilliance and could not think of wasting his superb talents in so dull a calling as the ministry. Having vanquished all rivals in intellectual contests, he graduated at nineteen from Providence College (now Brown University) as valedictorian. He entertained the most extravagant ambitions and his imagination ran wild as he contemplated his future eminence. He pictured himself as an orator, greater than Demosthenes, swaying the multitudes with his eloquence; as a second Homer, writing immortal poems; as a second Alexander the Great, weeping because there were no more worlds to conquer.

God’s will and circumstances.

Judson was not only inordinately ambitious; he was also openly atheistic. It was during the early years of the nineteenth century, while Judson was in college, that French infidelity swept over the country. With only three or four exceptions, all the students of Yale were avowed infidels and preferred to call each other by the names of leading infidels such as Tom Paine or Voltaire, instead of their own names. Providence College did not escape the contaminations of this vile flood of scepticism. In the class just above that of Judson was a young man by the name of Ernest [other sources identify this individual as "E___" and "Jacob Eames"], who was exceptionally gifted, witty and clever, and an outspoken atheist. An intimate friendship developed between these two brilliant young men, with the result that Judson also became a bold exponent of infidelity, to the extreme mortification of his father and mother. When his father sought to argue with him, he quickly demonstrated his intellectual superiority, but he had no answer to his mother's tears and solemn warnings.

God’s will and circumstances.

One day he set out on horseback on a tour of adventure through several states. He joined a band of strolling players and lived, as he himself related later, "a wild, reckless life." Leaving the troupe after a few weeks, he continued his trip on horseback, stopping on a certain historic night at a country inn. Apologetically, the landlord explained that, only one room being vacant, he would be obliged to put him next door to a young man who was extremely ill; in fact, probably dying.

"I'll take the room," said Judson. "Death has no terrors for me. You see, I'm an atheist."

Judson retired but sleep eluded him. The partition was very thin and for long hours he listened to the groans of the dying man—groans of agony and groans of despair. "The poor fellow is evidently dying in terror. I suppose I should go to his assistance, but what could I say that would help him?" thought Judson to himself; and he shivered at the very thought of going into the presence of the dying man. He felt a blush of shame steal over him. What would his late unbelieving companions think if they knew of his weakness?

God’s will and circumstances.

Above all, what would witty, brilliant Ernest say, if he knew? As he tried to compose himself, the dreadful cries from the next room continued. He pulled the blankets over his head but still he heard the awful sounds and shuddered! Finally, all became quiet in the next room. At dawn, having had no sleep, he rose and inquired of the innkeeper concerning his fellow lodger.

"He is dead." "Dead!" replied Judson. "And do you know who he was?” "Yes," the innkeeper answered, "he was a graduate of Providence College, a young fellow named Ernest."

Judson was overwhelmed by the news that the young man who died the previous night in the adjoining room in evident terror of death was his college friend Ernest, who had led him into infidelity. For many hours the words "Dead! Lost! Lost!" kept ringing in his ears. There was now just one place that beckoned him. Turning his horse's direction, he went home and begged his father and mother to help him find a faith that would stand the test of life and of death, of time and eternity.

God’s will and circumstances.

Circumstances, however, cannot be considered an infallible guide. Sometimes God leads contrary to circumstances.

D.L. Moody was an uneducated shoe salesman who had difficulty speaking. Yet God called him to become a preacher who during his career led thousands to the Lord both in America and Europe.

Philip, the evangelist, was called by God to leave a successful campaign to witness to one man in the desert Acts 8:5, 26. Circumstances alone would have suggested he stay in Samaria but God had other plans. As important as circumstances may be, there must be something more in order to confirm God's specific will

God’s will and Godly council.

Hebrews 13:17.

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

Proverbs 15:22.

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 19:20-21.

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. It is wise to consider the advice of mature people who have had experience in discerning God's will. People can be wrong though, so there must be more than the counsel of mature Christians to determine God's will.

God’s will and common sense.

Jesus Wants Us To Use Common Sense: by Donald Miller

I remember reading a report from a church I used to go to. It had vision statement outlining the plan for the church to grow. It involved buying new property and building a new building and more than quadrupling the size of the congregation over the next twenty years or so. When I read it, I remember thinking that the vision lacked common sense. The church was in a rural area, and there was no growth happening in the community. It seemed like, if you wanted to reach more people, you’d just send another pastor into an area closer to town and plant another church. It would be a lot cheaper to do it that way anyway.

But the vision was couched in a lot of God talk.

There’s was a lot of talk about how it was “bathed in prayer” and the sort of language that creeps normal people out. That vision statement came out ten years ago, and very little has happened, save a church split and a lot of controversy.

God’s will and common sense.

Jesus Wants Us To Use Common Sense: by Donald Miller (continued)

I find it suspect when a vision for power and glory for man is couched in a lot of religious talk.

I usually suspect that its one of two things, if not both:

Justification for doing something we really want and God didn’t ask for.

A way of defending what we want so nobody will argue with us or push back. How can they? We prayed about it and stuff.

Miracles happen and people get visions for sure. But mostly God gives us a hoe and some seeds and introduces us to the miracle of work and a lot of common sense.

If people had more common sense in the Church, they would not be allowing so called Pastors to prompt them to eat grass and drink disinfectant and to stand and get sprayed with doom.

God’s will and common sense.

Common sense Titus 2:11-12.

For the [remarkable, undeserved] grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to reject ungodliness and worldly (immoral) desires, and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives [lives with a purpose that reflect spiritual maturity] in this present age.

To "live sensibly" is to live in a balanced, level-headed manner; it is to utilize common sense. Indeed, the word contains the same idea as does our current term "common sense”

Common sense, however, though helpful in determining God's will, cannot be a final guide. There has to be something else with which to confirm God's specific will.

God’s will and His Peace.

Colossians 3:15.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…

The word "rule" actually means to "act as an umpire"; that is, peace concerning a decision will be an indicator of a correct or proper course of action.

One must be careful, however, to distinguish between the genuine peace that comes from doing God's will and a pseudo-peace that results from a psychological rationalization of the mind that convinces one of the correctness of a course of action because that is really what he wants or doesn't want more than anything else.

Though peace will accompany the knowing and performing of God's will, because of the complexity of the human mind, it cannot of itself be a final guide. There must be something beyond this to confirm God's will.

God’s will and His Word.

God's general will--- His plan, purpose, and standard for the believer's life and lifestyle, is found in His Word, it seems logical to conclude that God’s specific will may be found there as well.

Psalms 119:105,

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path“

Joshua 1:8.

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Searching God's Word should be a daily discipline. Through His Word God instructs, comforts, encourages, challenges, and directs, and so finding God‘s will should be the natural outworking of daily communication with Him. The individual who takes time and knows how to allow God to speak through His Word will know His will.

God’s will and His Word.

1 Peter 2:2. Like Newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

Colossians 3:16. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom..

Jeremiah 15:16. When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight. The following guidelines however are important when reading God's Word, because people can and do twist the Scriptures.

Understand what the passage really says (context etc)

Understand the background of the verses.

Understand the literal meaning of the words.

God’s will and Prayer.

James 1:5.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

Properly translated the verse reads, we are to "keep on asking" for it. When the answer does not come immediately, the believer should keep on praying, and wait.

God has given us His Word so that we can get to know Him and know His will for our lives.

Romans 10:17.

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. That's the reason Jesus said:

John 15:7.

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it will be done unto you."

God’s general will.

God's general will, includes for us all to be saved

John 6:40:

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.

2 Peter 3:9:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

God’s general will.

For us to be sanctified (set apart for pure and holy living)

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8.

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable, not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit..

Hebrews 12:14.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

God’s general will.

For us to reveal or glorify God

1 Corinthians 10:31-33.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

Isaiah 43:6-7.

I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.

God’s general will.

For us to do good works and live in submission to authority. 1 Peter 2:11-17.

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

God’s general will.

For us to walk worthy of the Lord in joyful thanksgiving and prayer.

Colossians 1:9-12.

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.

We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

God’s general will.

For us to obey Him.

1 Samuel 15:22-23.

Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice,

and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.

Psalm 40:6-8.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire but my ears you have opened, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, Here I am, I have come it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.


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